Monday Memo 1135: "God Can Do It!"
This week, let's look at how God used a young girl in the story of a man named Naaman who had leprosy. We read,
In one of their raids against Israel, the Syrians had carried off a little Israelite girl, who became a servant of Naaman's wife. One day she said to her mistress, “I wish that my master could go to the prophet who lives in Samaria! He would cure him of his disease.” When Naaman heard of this, he went to the king and told him what the girl had said (2 Kings 5:2-4).
Just like today, the Syrians and the Israelites didn't get along and were often at war. And just like today, the Syrians raided the land of Israel and carried off a young girl who became the servant of the wife of a Syrian military hero. Unfortunately, this hero had a terrible, incurable skin disease called leprosy that actually ate away the flesh of the person who had it.
How old was this young girl who became a servant? The word used would seem that she was someplace between a child and a teenager when she was carried off to another land. Yet, this young girl knew of the prophet in Israel named Elisha and she knew if her mistress's husband would go there, God would heal Naaman.
This young girl knew what God was doing in her country through the prophet and had faith that God would use him to heal her master. What's more, her faith informed her speech and she promised her wife that the healing would take place. The girl had more faith than the people in her home country, for then this happened:
The king said, “Go to the king of Israel and take this letter to him.” So Naaman set out, taking thirty thousand pieces of silver, six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of fine clothes. The letter that he took read: “This letter will introduce my officer Naaman. I want you to cure him of his disease.” When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes in dismay and exclaimed, “How can the king of Syria expect me to cure this man? Does he think that I am God, with the power of life and death? It's plain that he is trying to start a quarrel with me!” (2 Kings 5:5-7).
The king in Israel thought this was an attempt by Naaman and his king to ask them to do something impossible so when Israel couldn't do it, the Syrians would harass them all the more. In other words, the king of Israel had no faith and no awareness of what Elisha could do, but the young girl did. Just because someone is an adult and should have faith and knowledge doesn't mean they do. And just because someone is young doesn't mean they don't understand the things of God, for sometimes they do—even better than adults!
So what happened? Naaman went to Elisha the prophet who didn't even both to meet with Naaman but told him to go dip in the local river. At first, Naaman was offended and refused, but his servants (they were also probably young) told him to give it a try because he had nothing to lose. So Naaman listened to them, dipped himself in the river, and was healed! Then certainly Naaman was glad he had listened to the servant girl and his other servants who all played a role in his healing. The servant girl said, "God can do it" and she was correct.
If you're a young person reading this and you have faith in God, hold on to your faith and don't let anyone talk you out of or discourage it—no matter how old or wise or spiritual they may be. Your faith is as relevant and powerful before God as anyone else, and if you know God can do something, don't hesitate to say so. And if you're an older person, don't dismiss the faith of a young person just because they're young. If you do, you may be missing or ignoring something God is trying to tell or show you through them.
Faith doesn't depend on the age of the holder to be effective; it depends on the faithfulness of God. God always responds to someone with faith, so our job is to find those who have it and follow their lead, even if they are young enough to be our children or grandchildren. Have a blessed week.